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----Original Message Follows----
From: Frits Westra <fwestra@...
Subject: UFOnet: Fwd = F-117 gets stealth material modifications
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 20:41:42 +0200
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Original Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 20:12:39 +0200 (CEST)
========================== Forwarded message begins ======================
F-117 gets stealth material modifications
29 June 2000
The US Air Force has introduced a modification to the F117 that is
designed to improve its stealth capabilities, and improve
maintainability and reduce operating costs. The F-117 System
Programme Office, Aeronautical Systems Centre, Wright-Patterson
AFB in Ohio, has introduced the Single Configuration Fleet
modification that consolidates the radar-absorbing material
configurations into one optimised for maintainability and
deployability. The modification is being implemented on a
five-year schedule as the F-117s are rotated through the
contractor depot at Palmdale in California.
The modification, entailing stripping and re-coating the entire
F-117 fleet, replaces the existing seven different sheet-coated
radar-absorbing materials (RAM) on the wings, rudders and fuselage
and uses a precise robotic process to apply a RAM coating to
almost 75 percent of the airframe. These areas which are never
accessed for maintenance will require virtually no future RAM
repairs. Areas that are frequently accessed will have removable
RAM sheets applied to the maintenance panels.
The main advantages of the new standardised configuration, for
maintainers and the Air Force, will be common repair procedures
and materials for all F-117s. Currently, with so many
configurations, there are numerous repair procedures and
materials. The modification will also greatly reduce the amount of
hardware and other supplies that units will need when they deploy
to forward locations.
Once the modification is completed throughout the F-117 fleet, the
annual consumable material costs is expected to drop from current
level of $14.5 million to approximately $6.9 million.
REF XQQAS XQQAR
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